behind jahmal's style is a complex story about identity. explore the complicated language of fashion through polaroids and pros.
is fashion political?
if you find that it isn't politically charged, i think you're not looking around. from the FLOTUS, to the celebrities, to the runways and through the streets alike -- clothing is an exclusive language spoken and received by like-minded people. i could gripe and theorize about it for days, but i try to find ways of making the ritual of dressing one's self humorous/joyful.
i find myself negotiating the balance between trends and things that just feel silly. i embed my possessions of all kinds with varying degrees of spiritual wealth. i wear pieces very ironically sometimes. more than anything else, i dress to at once be invisible and hyper-visible.
describe your style.
my style is about grappling with the gender binary and making the different spaces i occupy safe and comfortable. my clothes reflect my anxieties, accentuate my strength and protect me from harm all at once. i think about fashion as it relates to violence a lot. in my mind, clothes are tools we use to ward off unwanted attention, shroud us in mystique, and power us through our days unscathed. i gravitate towards the legacy of the queer, gender non-conforming, and trans youth of the 80s and 90s (and even now). i draw strength from their stories and through my presentation as non-binary, attempt to honor their resilience and queering of performative gender norms.
is there a piece in your closet that fills you with joy?
no one piece i own shakes me to my core. i love all of it - it's both the prequel and the update of my life. a library, and a tool kit. i recently had to pack all of my things and move. all of my possessions fit into two large boxes, one trunk, one large suitcase, and two small duffel bags. i only mention this to say that i cherish everything i own and carried with me.
follow jahmal on instagram @chatnoir1120
lensed by elisabeth cady
interview by julia popescu
special thanks to james gallagher